[Update: Essential Phone] Android Q Beta 5 rolls out for all Google Pixel phones, brings updated gesture navigation

[Update: Essential Phone] Android Q Beta 5 rolls out for all Google Pixel phones, brings updated gesture navigation

Update 1 (7/12/19 @ 6:10 PM ET): Essential has announced the rollout of Android Q beta 5 for the Essential Phone.

Android Q Beta 4 marked the last beta that was given a launch month. We knew Android Q Beta 5 would launch sometime in “Q3,” but that was as specific as Google got. Turns out we didn’t have to wait very long as Google is rolling out the fifth beta today. This is the first of two release candidate builds before the first stable release for the public.

Last month, the finalized developer APIs launched with Beta 4. As you would expect, Android Q Beta 5 includes these final APIs, the official API 29 SDK, and updated build tools for Android Studio. There aren’t as many consumer-facing changes as we enter the release candidate phase. However, there is one pretty big area that has been updated: gestural navigation.


We already knew there would be some changes to gestural navigation in Android Q beta 5. Google has added a swipe gesture from either bottom corner to launch Google Assistant. You’ll see new “handles” that indicate the gesture. The “peek” gesture that we knew about is included as well. This allows users to tap the edge of the display and hold briefly until the navigation drawer “pops” out. Then you can continue dragging it open. A full swipe without pause will perform the “back” gesture. Developers whose apps have a navigation drawer are recommended to switch to DrawerLayout 1.1.0-alpha02 for the best experience.

Another change that we knew was coming is gestural navigation limits with 3rd-party launchers. Google confirms that change, but says that starting in Beta 6, using a 3rd-party launcher will automatically revert the system back to 3-button navigation. There may be a post-launch update to address the issues and allow 3rd-party launcher users to switch to gestural navigation. Oh, and if you haven’t noticed yet, “fully gestural navigation” is simply called “gestural navigation” now.

We will start digging into Android Q Beta 5 and tell you all about the other changes Google has made. Find the download links for Google Pixel phones and Project Treble devices below, or visit the Android Beta page to enroll your device. Issues with the Android platformapp compatibility, and third-party SDKs can be filed in their respective hotlists in the Issue Tracker.

Download Android Q Beta 5 System Images for Pixel Phones

Download Android Q Beta 5 OTA Images for Pixel Phones

Download Android Q Beta 5 GSI Images for Project Treble devices

Read more about Android Q

Update 1: Essential Phone Too

Essential is a tiny bit late compared to its usual punctuality, but 2 days isn’t that big of a deal, right? In any case, the company has announced that Q beta 5 is now available for the Essential Phone.

Opting in/out is currently unavailable for the Developer Program, but if you’re already on an earlier Q beta build for the PH-1, you should be able to update.

About author

Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa

Former Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Lover of all things with displays.

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.